CANTON, Ohio. – Just one day before Zach Thomas takes his step into NFL immortality, Miami Dolphins fans were seen celebrating all over Canton, Ohio to watch their former star linebacker make his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Local 10 News spoke with Dolphins fans at Don Shula’s American Kitchen in Canton, who made the trip to celebrate Thomas’ career and highest NFL honor.
“We have such a great, tight-knit community of fans and to bring us all together in Canton, there’s nothing better than to celebrate Zach out here,” said Dolphins fan Ashley Sacks.
“We are a worldwide fanbase and to see everybody converge in Canton, it just goes to show that we’re strong. We’re gonna fill up Canton on Saturday to support Zach and we’re gonna be screaming as loud as we can,” said Dolphins fan Ian Berger.
Local 10 News gave viewers an inside look at the Hall of Fame locker room area where it had a throwback Zach Thomas jersey, a helmet from his days at Texas Tech University, and even handwritten game notes from when he played against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 16, 2007.
Local 10 also spoke with former Miami Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison on Friday, who called Zach Thomas the ultimate pro and left a positive message as Thomas makes his way into the Hall of Fame.
“Having an opportunity to play with him for nine years, it’s an honor, and I just want to say, ‘thank you, Zach, for all the years that you’ve given us and for being a leader on this team. I salute you and congratulations.,’” Madison said.
On Saturday, Thomas will be inducted by former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Jimmy Johnson, who drafted and later coached him for three seasons.
Thomas, a fifth-round draft pick from Texas Tech, didn’t fit the size description of your typical NFL linebacker. At 5-foot-11 and 228 pounds, he was considered to be undersized and often overlooked.
On Thursday, the former Miami Dolphins star linebacker shared how grateful he was for the opportunity with Local 10 News.
According to Thomas’ biography, he was barely scouted out of high school and originally recruited out of Texas Tech to play special teams for the Dolphins.
Miami selected him with the 154th pick in the 1996 NFL draft — the 19th linebacker taken in a class that also includes NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis.
Thomas spent the rest of his 13-season NFL career running through blocks, and doubt, en route to seven Pro Bowls, five All-Pro selections and the fifth-most tackles in NFL history.
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https://www.local10.com/news/local/2023/08/04/miami-dolphins-fans-ready-to-fill-up-canton-to-watch-zach-thomas-enter-hall-of-fame/ Miami Dolphins fans ready to ‘fill up’ Canton to watch Zach Thomas enter Hall of Fame